Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Justice for poor Tapasi

From Zeenews Bureau

Former secretary of the CPI(M) Singur zonal committee, Suhrid Dutta, and supporter Debu Malik, convicted for murder of teenage girl Tapasi Malik were awarded life sentences by the Hoogly district court in Chandanagore on Wednesday.

The sentencing came a day after the court convicted the duo in the 2006 murder case. The sensational case had turned high profile after the ruling Left Front government had to handover the case to the CBI owing to the allegations by the opposition that the guilty were being shielded due to their affiliations with the ruling party.

CBI counsel Partha Tapaswi told reporters yesterday, "The verdict proves that our investigations were correct."

The half-burnt body of 18-year-old Tapasi, a farmer's daughter at Singur, who was in the forefront of the agitation of the Krishi Jami Raksha Committee after land acquisition for the Tata Motors Nano project, was found on December 18, 2006 at Bajemelia.

The case, which led to a public uproar, was initially handled by the CID, but was handed over to the CBI by the West Bengal government after demands by the Opposition.

Debu was arrested five months after the CBI began investigations and Dutta was arrested shortly afterwards. The central agency submitted the chargesheet against the two in September 2007.

The Statesman reports: Welcoming the judgement, Tapasi's father, Mr Manoranjan Malik said: “We were confident that we would get justice. I am happy that my daughter's murderers were finally found guilty.” But Dutta's elder brother, Mr Saroj Dutta, who is the secretary of the CPI(M)'s Bara local committee in Singur, said: “The conspiracy against my brother and our party is still on. We will unite the mass against the conspiracy. The legal battle will go on.” In Singur, several hundred locals joined in a rally that originated near Tapasi Malik's residence demanding capital punishment for Suhrid Dutta and Debu Malik. “We want Dutta and Malik to be hanged. They were convicted by residents of Singur much before. Today they were convicted in a court,” said Ms Aparna Dhara, a friend of Tapasi. The Singur Krishi Jami Raksha Committee organised several other rallies in villages across Singur demanding death penalty for the Tapasi murder accused. The CPI(M), however, asserted the two accused were falsely implicated. Reacting to the verdict, Mr Benoy Konar, CPI(M) central committee member said it only “confirmed the Bengali saying that whatever the master wishes is carried out.”

The Trinamul Congress and the Singur Krishi Jami Jiban Raksha Committee will organise a rally at Singur on 5 December in memory of Tapasi Malik.

Read Dr Mrinal Bose's fictional account of the murder of Tapasi here.

Murder mastermind Suhrid Dutta (The Statesman).

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